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Travel Tip: Vetting Beachfront Properties

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Have you ever booked a hotel that claims to be beachfront, only to find out you have to cross a major thoroughfare to get to the beach?

Here’s how you can avoid those places…

First, decide on your own definition of beachfront. Are you looking for a room with a view? Or a property that actually sits on the sand?

Your best bet, of course, is to pick up the phone and call.

Ask specific questions like, “Is there a road between the hotel and the beach?” and “Is there direct walking access?” and “Literally, how many steps are we talking?”

Upon check-in, ask where your room is in relation to the water.

A site called defines “true beachfront” as hotels that have no roads or motorized traffic between the rooms and the sand or water. They use GPS and satellite images to show hotels that meet that definition.

Whatever you do, don’t rely on the property’s Web site to make a decision.

It’s far too easy to doctor photos and use misleading brochure language to entice guests who don’t ask the right questions.

Find out how to take a great ocean-centric vacation in our Beach Vacations section.

Get ideas for great places to stay in our Hotels & Accommodations section.

And check out the rest of our Daily Travel Tips here.